India became independent on the 15th of Aug, 1947 after almost 200 years of rule by British Imperial System.
Tricolour or "Tiranga”, as it is commonly called, is the Indian National Flag, with Deep Saffron at the top, White in the middle & India Green at the bottom with the Ashok Chakra at its centre with 24 spokes in blue colour. It is rectangular in shape in the ratio of 2:3 with the 3 colours running across breadth.
It was the 26th of Jan, 1950 when India gave to its people the Constitution becoming a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. Indian constitution has 12 Schedules divided into 22 Parts with 395 Articles.
Size & Population
India is the 7th largest country in the world by size consisting of 28 States & 7 Union Territories.
We score only next to China in terms of highest population in the world with around 1.2 billion people.
There are 3 wings within the Indian Armed Forces namely the Army, Air Force & Navy
There are 3 Paramilitary Forces that very closely support the Armed Forces namely the Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Assam Rifles (AR) & Special Frontier Force (SFF)
There are 8 Central Armed Police Forces namely National Security Guards (NSG), Special Protection Group (SPG), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Sahastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) & Railway Protection Force (RPF)
Wartime Gallantry Awards
India has 3 Gallantry awards that it decorates its soldiers with for showing extreme valour during a war time namely Param Vir Chakra (PVC), Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) & Vir Chakra (VC).
National Emblem: Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath
National Anthem: Jana Gana Man;
National Song: Vande Mataram;
National Bird: Peacock;
National Land Animal: Bengal Tiger;
National Reptile: King Cobra;
National Heritage Animal: Elephant;
National Aquatic Animal: Gangetic Dolphin;
National Sports: None (Clarified by Indian Sports Ministry in response to RTI filed by Aishwarya Parashar)
National Fruit: Mango;
National Tree: Banyan tree;
National Flower: Lotus;
National Calendar: Saka Calendar
National Languages: None; Hindi (Devanagari script) & English are the official languages. Hindi is the Principal Official language while English is the Secondary Official language. This is apart from 21 other Official Regional languages recognised by the constitution.
India currently stands at the 2nd position in the globe with regard to Youth population (15 to 24 years of age) as of now with a little over 200mn. China & India are much ahead of other nations in the top 10 countries with youth population. India is expected to outplace China by 2020.
India's Forest Land
Around only 10% of India's land mass consists of Forests. This is because only 350,000 sq kms of the overall 640,000 sq kms is actually forest, rest all is barren land.
Global IT Industry Competitiveness Index
India stands at 34th position across 66 countries rated in the world for 2011. This index indicates the extent to which a country can support a strong IT production sector. India has jumped 10 places from 2010 to be at 34th position in 2011.
Global Peace Index
Country that gave Mahatma's principles to the world stands at 135th position globally across 153 countries in the Peace index for 2011 with 153 being the country with worst peace environment index.
Multidimensional Poverty Index
Based upon the 2010 report published by UN based on the new methodology developed by the Oxford University, India has 55% of the population below poverty line based on this index. The index covers the 3 basic elements of Living standard, Education & Health across which the deprivation is measured.
Human Development Index
India ranks 134 out of 187 countries for which the rating is released in Nov 2011 by UNDP. Pakistan is at 145 while China is at 101.
India's Billionaires: India accounts for at least 5% of World’s while 25% of Asia’s billionaire population as per the Forbes 2011 report.
India's Millionaires: As per the Boston Consultancy Group's report, there were around 162,000 millionaire households in India in 2011 compared to 134,000 in 2010, making India 13th in the world in this category with highest millionaire households. Millionaire households are the ones with wealth of $1mn (INR 5.5 Crores) or above, also called as High Net worth Individuals. The report also says that there were around 278 households in 2011 compared to 241 in 2010 that are Ultra High Net worth Individuals with wealth in excess of $100mn (INR 550 Crores). US have the highest number of Millionaire households pegged at around 5.1mn followed with Japan & China at 1.6mn & 1.4mn respectively.
India ranks 9th country in the world with the highest defence / military budgets. This is mainly on account of huge military arms / equipment import. India is the largest arms importer in the world.
Space Research & Technology
So far India is amongst the top 6 nations across the globe. Russia & United States are the definitive pioneers in the area with sizeable interests from European Space Agency, UK & China apart from India. India plans to send manned space shuttle by 2016 after having successfully launched the moon mission in 2008 though the mission failed to complete its full tenure of 2 years. It lost contact with the ground stations within 315 days of the launch.
India was ranked 6th across the world in the list of most active nations in the IPO (Initial Public Offering) sector accounting for 3% of global IPO’s in 2009.
Buildings with Largest floor space
Delhi IGI International Airport scores 24th rank on this scale in the world
Internationally Delhi IGI International Airport is ranked 30th across the leading airports in the world managing the maximum passengers per 2011 study. Almost 50% of the top 30 busiest airports are accounted for by US.
India has around 125 airports managed by Airport Authority of India (AAI) of which 11 are International airports. Overall India has 19 International airports managed publicly or privately) - Currently Privately managed airports are Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru & Kochi.
Within India, Delhi attracts maximum air traffic followed by Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Dabolim (Goa) & Pune.
Best Airport by Size
Hyderabad is the Best Airport in the world in the 5 – 15mn passenger capacity, Mumbai scores 2nd position by size in the 15 – 25mn passenger capacity worldwide while Delhi International airport is ranked 4th in the 25 – 40mn passenger capacity across the world. Remember this is not the size of the airport itself rather an overall survey of all facilities in the million passenger category.
Delhi metro is the first amongst all metro networks in the world to earn a Carbon Credit. It earned worth Rs. 47 Crores of Carbon Credits annually for the next 7 years. Delhi Metro is also the 11th Largest Metro network by distance in the world.
Mumbai will have the 2nd largest Mono rail network in the world post its completion by mid 2012 after Japan's Osaka Mono Rail.
Rail Network in the world
India has the 4th biggest Rail network after US, Russia & China with more than 71k miles of track.
Biggest Foreign Trading Partner
China is the biggest Trading Partner of India in terms of mutual trade accounting for 9.26% of the of the overall India’s foreign trade in 2010.
Most Favoured Nation under GATT
Pakistan is India’s most favoured nation (MFN) under GATT.
Richest Cricketing Body
India’s BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) is the richest Cricket Sporting body in the world. As of FY 2011-12, its overall assets were over INR 3000 Crores. BCCI Official Site:
Wonders of the World
There are various lists compiled listing seven wonders of the world. One such list published in 2007 by Swiss corporation, New7wonders Corporation named, TheTaj Mahal, as one amongst Seven wonders of the modern world. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It's construction took well over 20 years & completed in 1653. It is UNESCO World Heritage Site.
By volumes, India is the 2nd largest user of mobile phones but when it comes to penetration, it is just 74% (not unique) which puts India at the 52nd position of the 60 countries for which data was available.
Mobile Internet Usage
India ranks 2nd only after US in terms of mobile internet usage per the Google report.
Cultural & Natural Heritages
Although India has many of them, there are though, 23 Cultural and 5 Natural heritages ratified by UNESCO as World Heritages.
Tier 1 Metropolitan Cities
6 identified Metropolitan cities are namely, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Census Commission defines any city with more than 4 mn population as a metropolitan city. These are the top 6 based on the following criteria, business environment, infrastructure availability, real estate cost & availability, educational institutes, employment opportunity, social infrastructure, financial services and transportation facility.
India is the 7th in the world to have the maximum Forex reserves @ around $320billion by the Nov '11. China tops the list with over $3trillion followed with Japan with over $1trillion & Russia with $516billion.
Least Expensive Cities in the world
New Delhi & Mumbai count amongst the least expensive cities in the world. Only city after Mumbai at 130th rank was Pakistan ranking 131st in the ET Intelligence Unit's survey conducted in 2012 so far. Zurich was the most expensive of all, followed with Tokyo. Please download the full report from www.eiu.com
Indian Railways is the 4th largest employer in the world with approximately 1.3mn employees after Wal-Mart, CNPC & SGCC. Latter 2 are state run corporations of China in the Utility sector. http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/
World’s 9th largest, barring European Union, economy by nominal GDP while 4th largest by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) as of 2010 release by IMF & World Bank. This is across 188 countries listed.
Foreign Direct Investment
As of 2010, India stood at the 22nd position globally in receiving FDI in the country far below China which was at 8th position. However India has improved significantly compared to the 35th position it had in 2007 across 151 countries.
India scores almost in the top countries with highest inflation. India was rated at 201st position across 223 nations when it comes to high inflation in 2010, 223 being having the highest.
Cost of Living
New Delhi was ranked 85th while Mumbai was ranked at 89th position as costliest cities to live in the world for expatriates by Mercer in 2010. This ranking was amongst 141 cities across the world.
Where will India's economy be by 2020 compared to now
As per CEBR - Centre for Economics & Business Research - India will be the 5th Largest Economy by 2020 next to US, China, Japan & Russia.
First State to Implement Lokayukta
Maharashtra was the first Indian State to implement Lokayukta way back in 1971 to fight against Corruption in the form of The Maharashtra Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayuktas Act in 1971. Justice Santosh Hegde, former Supreme Court Judge, had been one of the most renowned Lokayukta's of India coming heading Karnataka.
First Woman Ruler of India
Rajia Sultana was the first women ruler of India. She lived from 1205 to 1240 AD & ruled for 3 years before being murdered.
First Planned Industrial Township of India
Jamshedpur, named after Jamshetji Nusserwanji Tata, is the first planned city of India. City is spread across 15,000 acres.
World's Second Oldest Mosque
Built in 629AD by Raja (King) Cheraman Perumal, Ceraman Juma Mosque (Masjid) in Kerala is the second oldest in the world.
World's 4th Most Powerful Military
Although there isn't any official study conducted on this globally, Global Fire Power website helps understand the larger context thru a comprehensive comparison of available Military data across various countries & lists India at the 4th position after US, Russia & China.
Corruption Perception Index
India ranks 95th of the 183 countries surveyed on the Corruption Perception Index in 2011. CPI ranks the Perception of people on how Corrupt it's Country's Public sector is. India's score was 3.1 on a maximum scale of 10 where 10 is about best perception of its public sector. http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/
India is ranked 3rd in the world with an annual consumption of 759 million toe, as per 2011 report, in terms of Energy Consumption, published by Enerdata, after China & the US. 1 toe (Tonne of Oil Equivalent) = 41.87 Giga Joules (as defined by OECD). http://yearbook.enerdata.net/
Of the 868 mn people across the Globe found to be undernourished in 2010-12, almost 25% come from India. Almost 217 mn people in India have been reported to be undernourished for the same period. http://www.fao.org/hunger/en/
Most Innovative Companies
Five Indian companies are part of the 2012 Top 50 companies Globally showing most Innovation in their work. L&T tops the list from India at the 9th position. Others are Hindustan UniLever (12th), Infosys (19th), TCS (29th) & Sun Pharma (38th). Apart from these 5 Indian companies, there were 2 more Indian CEO's on the list. Pradeep Sindhu of Juniper Networks & Rakesh Kapoor of Reckitt Benckiser. This list is prepared by Forbes every year. http://www.forbes.com/special-features/innovative-companies.html
Most Powerful Women
5 of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World come from India as per Forbes magazine. Topping the list is Sonia Gandhi who is rated 6th most powerful woman in the world. Others from India include Indra Nooyi (CEO, PepsiCo), Padamasree Warrior (CTSO, Cisco Systems), Chanda Kochhar (MD & CEO, ICICI Bank) & Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Founder & Chairman, Biocon). http://www.forbes.com/power-women/list/
Most Innovative Educators
Suneet Singh Tuli & Anant Agarwal have been named two of the most powerful 15 "Classroom Revolutionaries" by Forbes. Suneet is CEO of Datawind that created the world's cheapest tablet "Aakash" while Anant is a professor of Computer Science at MIT.
Largest Stock Exchange in the World
Bombay Stock Exchange is World's largest Stock Exchange in terms of number of companies listed on it. BSE has more than 5000 domestic companies listed on it. Second in the list comes Toronto Stock Exchange with only around 75% of what BSE has. In terms of Market capitalization though, it is way behind & figures in the top 20 across the Globe along with National Stock Exchange, New Delhi. http://www.world-exchanges.org/statistics/monthly-reports
Oldest working & Largest Oil Refinery
While Digboi Oil Refinery in Assam happens to be the Oldest Operational Refinery in the World as of today & first of India. Although the commercial discovery of oil had happened in 1889, it was only in 1901 that the Refinery was set up by the British & later by Assam Oil Company. Jamnagar Refinery is the Largest Refinery of World with production capacity of 124,000 barrels per day. It is owned & run by Reliance Industries.
Largest Canon in the World
Jaivana Canon is the Largest Canon in the world. It is housed at Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II in 1726 to protect the Amer Fort.
Business Jet Industry
India has become the 2nd largest Business Jet market in Asia Pacific region with a fleet of 165 jets following China’s 220 jets in 2012. Overall India’s business jet market is set to double by 2016-17 as per PwC report commissioned by FICCI.
One of the Largest Photovoltaic Power Station in the World
Charanka village, in Patan district of Gujarat, boasts of the 3rd Largest Photovoltaic Power Station in the world. As of April 2012, it generated 214 MW of power with a maximum capacity of 590 MW expected to be completed by 2014. Once completed, it will be the largest in the world. It’s a congregation of 21 developers besides many other projects being run in the state of Gujarat. Additionally, Charanka also hosts the biggest hybrid solar-wind power generation.
Indian Government, in Sep 2013, decided to build world's largest solar plant in Rajasthan near Sâmbhar Lake with a power generation capacity of 4000MW. In the first phase, expected to be commissioned by 2016, 1000MW of electricity is proposed to be generated.
Boards of Education in India
Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), an autonomous body under Government of India, is the most renowned Secondary Education Board in India with presence in 21 countries, having over 14500 schools affiliated with it & catering to over 12 million students worldwide. It has 8 regional offices across India to manage all of the Indian states while Foreign schools are managed by the Regional Office at New Delhi. CBSE board was constituted in 1962 & is a self financing body without aid from any governmental bodies.
In the recent times, India has seen a significant surge in schools affiliated to International boards like IGCSE (International General Certificate for Secondary Education) & IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization). Schools with affiliations are generally in & around the cities with huge influx of expatriate communities. Now a days, there are many schools in India that offer education with affiliation to multiple boards that has helped them leverage the similar resources but with a flexible option to the student community to choose the education board they prefer / like.